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Fashion firms focus on social media

From BBC - September 15, 2017

Speed of reaction to social media trends is becoming more important in the battle between fast fashion and more established High Street retailers, say experts.

Young women are increasingly being influenced by what they see on apps such as Instagram, as well as by celebrities.

Fast fashion brands are jumping on these trends.

But High Street retailers say they are upping their game to compete.

The fashion industry is important to the UK economy. It supports 880,000 jobs, and contributes 28bn to GDP.

And for five days from Friday, the fashion world descends on the capital for London Fashion Week, which showcases British fashion and global brands.

Topshop's global marketing director Sheena Sauvaire told the BBC's Today programme that while the concoctions on the catwalk influence High Street retail design, social media is increasingly playing a role.

"The thing right now in fashion is it's not just runway that's inspiring those trends, trends are bubbling up on the streets.

"Street style will also inspire trends, so really it's become a melting pot of inspiration."

Just as social media is inspiring designers, it is also influencing young women in making style choices, she says.

"That's been the big shift... this inclusivity that social media brings, and the diversity. Girls want to see girls who look like them, that they can relate to wearing fashion, as opposed to those images that have been driven through print fashion magazines for many years."

Disruptive fashion firms, which quickly jump on trends, have recognised this and are gaining ground against High Street retailers.

Pink Boutique, one of the fastest growing fashion brands, says it takes design inspiration from sources including social media, says Dan Arden, the firm's chief commercial officer.

"There was... a saying that was trending over social media over recent months which was 'U OK hun?'," says Dan Arden, the firm's chief commercial officer.

"We were able to very quickly get that into slogan T-shirts - I think we turned that around in three days, and we were able to get that selling and online very quickly."

How quickly a brand can get a product through its supply chain directly correlates with sales, he adds.

Bricks and clicks

The fashion industry is evolving. In the past year, nearly seven out of 10 women have bought clothes online.

'Fierce competition'

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